Firmness and Decay of Apples following Postharvest Pressure Infiltration of Calcium and Heat Treatment

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901
  • 2 Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705
  • 3 Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901
  • 4 Department of Food Science, The Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan 50250, Israel

Heating `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) for 4 days at 38C or pressure-infiltrating them with a 4% CaCl2 solution reduced decay and maintained fruit firmness during 6 months of storage at 0C. Heating reduced decay caused by Penicillium expansum Link ex Thorn by ≈30%, while pressure infiltration with CaCl2 reduced decay by >60%. Pressure infiltration with CaCl2 after heating reduced decay by ≈40%. Pressure infiltration maintained firmness best (>84 N), as measured with a manually driven electronic fruit-firmness probe, followed by heat and CaCl2 (76 N), heat alone (71 N), and no treatment (control) (60 N). Force vs. deformation (FD) curves from a puncture test with a fruit-firmness probe mounted in a universal testing machine showed that fruit heated before storage were firmer than all nonheated fruit, except those pressure-infiltrated with 4% CaCl2. However, FD curves also showed that apples pressure-infiltrated with 4% CaCl2 differed quantitatively from apples in all other treatments, including those heated.

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